If you’re thinking about becoming a mortgage loan originator or mortgage loan officer, one of your top concerns is how much you’ll get paid. Fear not, because we’ve got the answer for you.
But first, a little background:
What is a mortgage loan originator?
This is an individual who works with the borrower (e.g., the person who seeks the mortgage) to complete the loan. Basically, you sit between the person getting the loan and the person giving the loan, making sure that everything goes smoothly, all paperwork is filed correctly, and that all information is gathered fully.
The mortgage originator may take part in a primary mortgage market, working with underwriters (an entity that looks over and evaluates another entity’s risk for a fee) and loan processors. This is usually done from the application date until the closing of the mortgage so that all documentation is filed correctly for the loan to continue.
Thus, mortgage loan officers are important for first-time homeowners and loaning organizations who want to ensure that their paperwork is done properly. The lender doesn’t want to give out too much money for someone who may not be able to pay it back and the loanee wants to make sure that they’re getting the best possible loan they can get considering their circumstances. It saves the lender and loanee the headache but transfers the burden onto you.
What does a mortgage loan originator do?
You’ll either sit down with a loan seeker, chat with them over the phone, or in some way correspond with the person seeking a mortgage loan. You’ll gather credit scores, rental income, income in general and ask other necessary questions in order to build the loan profile.
You have to be organized, particular and meticulous, and be able to juggle multiple applications at once. Making a mistake can lead to a bigger headache down the line.
So how much do mortgage loan originators make?
As you can see, it’s not easy handling people’s loans. The number of calls, following up, and paperwork could make even the most dedicate loan officer say “no thank you.” This is why this position is paid handsomely for the hard work it entails.
Now, it’s not going to compete with a doctor’s or lawyer’s salary, but it’s enough to make a comfortable living. Mortgage loan originators can have a salary ranging from $50,000–$70,000 a year. Some people make an average of $40,000 a year while others make upwards of $100,000. It all depends on particulars.
The salary range for mortgage loan originators increases and decreases based on certain characteristics:
As with any job, your salary depends on your location and the firm you work with. Mortgage loan originators in wealthy cities, such as New York, Los Angeles or Chicago, are going to make more money than someone in a more rural part of the state.
There are easy ways to check and see what the average mortgage loan originator makes in your area:
- You can do a quick Google search including the terms “mortgage loan originator” and then the city and state/country you live in.
- Use can also use sites like indeed or glassdoor to get not only the average salary of mortgage loan originators from all over but the narrow down the salaries to your specific state or country.
- Contact a mortgage loan originating firm itself. Usually, if you ask politely you can contact someone at the front desk who can transfer you to HR. They can provide more information on how much a mortgage loan originator makes.
- If that doesn’t work, there are tons of other websites that can offer the salaries of specific firms.
Most firms allow mortgage loan officers to supplement their income with commissions while some firms only pay loan officers by commissions without a salary. Make sure when applying for a position you understand how you earn your income before hand.
Commissions work like this: you’ve done the grueling work of making sure every scrap of information has been collected for the loan application to go through. The lender grants the borrower their loan and you get a percentage of the loan going out. The bigger the loan, the bigger your cut.
So, the commission is nothing to scoff at. It can mean the difference between an okay life and a great life as a mortgage loan originator.
Not only can mortgage loan originators get commissions to achieve more money with all the real estate they sell, but they can use their accumulated experience to get more commission more often.
There’s a common trend among loan originators who work for 20+ years in their industry. Experienced originators learn the field and know how the system works. They get more clients and thus more commission. Below are the average salaries based on experience level (note that the starting salary can differ based on your location and firm):
Below five years: $40,000
5–10 years: $46,000
10–20 years: $49,000
Above 20 years: $50,000
15 years in the business can mean a $10,000 pay raise. That’s just on average. If you truly excel in your job, you can make much more than that.
For those of you who aren’t a mortgage loan originator…
You don’t have to get a bachelor’s degree in business or finance to get into this field. While a large number of companies prefer a bachelor’s degree, others allow you to become a mortgage loan originator if you have extensive experience in banking, sales, or customer service.
However, most people must acquire a mortgage loan originator (MLO) license to work in the field. This would require you to complete a minimum of 20 hours of coursework, passing the NMLS National and State test, a background check and a credit check. You’ll also have to renew your license and complete continuing education every year and some states may have additional requirements to get and/or maintain your job.
As you can see, you can make a pretty good amount of money being a mortgage loan originator. An average of $50,000 a year isn’t that bad and the possibility of commission and financial growth can also attract potential originators.